A place for family and friends to see what I'm up to. Visitors welcome here.

Hail Guest, we ask not what thou art.
If Friend, we greet thee, hand and heart.
If Stranger, such no longer be.
If Foe, our love will conquer thee.
-Old Welsh Door Verse

Saturday, March 22, 2008

How do you figure...

I admit it, I don't get guys.

I was so disappointed that I could not spend this week in our condo in Utah (repairs still not completed) that DH said last month that he wanted me to be thinking about where I'd like to go for a couple of days to get away. Like most of the US (and maybe the world) we're really watching our pennies right now and there is nowhere I'd want to go for even one night at what hotels cost around here. But the weather has been fantastic and I haven't been up the Central CA coast for a long time, so I told him I would like to take a day trip, maybe as far as Cambria (about three hours). It's a beautiful drive along the ocean and the poppies and lupine should be gorgeous. So, DH just came in and announced that he had decided we would go see the desert wildflowers.

Now, I've always wanted to go to the Antelope Valley Poppy Preserve and I'm sure it's gorgeous now. But to get there, we would have to drive 1.5 hours (each way) NOT along the beautiful Pacific Ocean, but through the pit called Simi Valley, San Fernando Valley and (shudder) Santa Clarita Valley. As much as I would like to see the flowers, driving through hell both directions is NOT how I want to spend one of my days off this break.

So, I don't get the thought process. Debi can't go to Utah on HER break (remember, DH is retired) so Debi will pick out a destination so Debi picks a drive up the coast but DH decides to go to through the city to the desert.

I don't get it.

Yesterday was day one-half of spring break. I ate an ice cream sundae for lunch and snuggled in to watch the news and frog some more on my fairy. That was an adventure. Of course, every time you take out a row of stitches, you run the risk that they were anchoring some other color. Indeed, I found myself frogging more than I'd planned because of this but by evening the frogging was done and I was able to do some actual stitching. I decided to use one of those arrow-shaped post-it thingies to mark the color I'm using so that I don't get confused again.

I decided to alternate "work" and "lazy" days so this morning I went to buy strawberries for tomorrow, then hunkered down to work in the garden. I worked about two hours and when I came in DH said, "You're not overdoing are you? You've been known to overdo." My reply? "That was when I was young enough for my back to handle the work and when it was fun to do. Now everything is a fight." How did I fight this morning? Let me count the ways.

Where are my gardening shoes? I wear little K-mart slip-on deck shoes which can be thrown into the laundry. I bought a new pair last summer so I know I didn't throw them out. They should be either next to the back or front door (where I would have kicked them off last time I used them) or on the dryer (where I would have left them to dry). Never did find them.

Where are my pruners? They should be either in my gardening stool or in the tool drawer in the kitchen. Where did I find them? When DH and DS2 demolished the fence they helped themselves to my pruners so they could cut up the trumpet vine (still miss that thing). In true DH fashion, they did not put them back and I found them this morning still sitting on the plant shelf in the front courtyard, somewhat the worse for having been there through our best rainy season in years.

Where is my little rake and long-handled dustbin to rake up clippings? No clue. Never did find it. Found lots of things full of yucky water (DH ran a mosquito abatement district in Santa Barara! You'd think he'd know better than to leave a wheelbarrow sitting so that it could collect water.)

After 45 minutes of searching I was finally able to work with plants. I pruned some begonias. I had moved them off the porch so they could get some nice clean rain (rather than chemical-laden alkaline tap water). I tried to put them back on the porch, but DH (again, in true DH fashion) had filled their space with firewood and water sealer for the fence.

I was also able to weed some pots and now have some fairly nice potted plants (gardenia is looking good, hydrangea is leafing out and the annuals I planted in that large pot with hydrangea reseeded and are looking healthy.)

Last summer DS2 and his friends completely cleaned out our back yard while we were on vacation. This was a wonderful gift and we are still grateful, but DS2 made some decisions on throwing things away that were questionable (maybe that's where my shoes went?). One of the things they did was take down the little bench I have under my office window and move four of my hydrangeas to the front courtyard. I went into the side garden to check that it was OK to move the bench back. This was an area that had been full of grass that the kids cleared out so, to prevent the grass from coming up again, I laid landscape cloth and covered it with recycled tire mulch (at $8.99 per small bag). The grass is coming up now through the landscape cloth AND mulch. During my next work day I will take up the cloth, collect the mulch for re-use, spray the area with Round-up and pre-emergent and re-lay everything.

Maybe I'll have better luck.

Chiloe asked if my break was a paid vacation. As teachers we get really tired of hearing how easy we have it with all our vacation time, usually by people who DO get paid vacations. Teachers' "vacations", though, are actually short lay-offs. In my district we are paid for the 18o days that we teach plus 4 days of training each year, and we have to save money for those periods when we don't get a paycheck (about two months a year). New teachers end up making about the same as garbage collectors and a lot less than daycare providers. Used to be that at least the health benefits were good but that's not the case anymore. Most of our teachers with young families are out-of-pocket about a grand a month for their health coverage. A lot of them would choose to work during breaks to earn money to get by, but it's hard to find jobs that will schedule you for a week or two here and there or two months over the summer. And to be honest, the school year can be really intense with LOTS of work done at home after instructional time. Most teachers need those breaks to catch up on the home and yard maintenance we neglect through the ten months of the school year.

You gotta love it to choose this profession.

Or be crazy.


Anonymous said...

Just catching up with you finally!! I'm sorry you didn't get to go to your Condo....I know how frustrating that must be. One of these days we will all have to meet up at DL or DW....we would have so much fun!!!
Have a great Easter Debi and enjoy Spring break.

pooh Hugs,

Chiloe said...

In Texas, I met a divorced mom who had to work on week end to get enough money for her family. In France, teachers are paid during the vacations and we have a lot of vacations ;)